Robin Hood Airport burns tonight

Tonight, I am burning Robin Hood Airport in effigy.

There’s no need to call the police for reasons that should be obvious.

The end.

Robin Hood Airport - whole damn thing

Robin Hood Airport - Detail

Robin Hood Airport - Twitter Joke Trial

I applied a #TwitterJokeTrial hashtag mainly for the benefit of the many people down my way who have access to the internets, but may not be aware of Paul Chambers and the consequences of his joke Twitter message about Robin Hood Airport. I am not connected to the relevant campaign, but I will happily send them link love: Paul Chambers | Twitter Joke Fund | Donate! |

Cheers all. Have a safe Guy Fawkes night, and please try to avoid barbecuing any hedgehogs.

UPDATE (11pm) – Got some video for you, folks.








Posted in Guy Fawkes Night, The War on Stupid | 7 Comments

Ricky Gervais: Mong 2.0

Let’s take Ricky Gervais at his word and assume he is being sincere when he says he is merely reclaiming the word ‘mong':

Gervais grab: 'mong' means 'div' or 'gimp', nothing BAD!

Because it is not a slur against any handicapped group, or a reference to any handicapped person or condition, it merely means ‘div’ or ‘gimp’ (source), and…

Gimp is only a word, you know.

Hang on, let’s start again…

Let’s take Ricky Gervais at his word and assume he is being sincere when he says he is merely reclaiming the word ‘mong’… while wanting to stay out of the relevant debate, obviously:

Gervais version of debate: putting it out there then running in the other direction.

Hang on, let’s start again…

Let’s take Ricky Gervais at his word and assume he is being sincere when he says he is merely reclaiming the word ‘mong':

You would think from his time on the 11 o’clock show that Ricky Gervais would have observed some reactions to Ali G and developed at least a vague awareness of the risks of satire being misread. Now, depending on the subject matter, the goal, the audience and the execution, sometimes these risks might be warranted, and sometimes they might be open to criticism*.

[*Does not equal a call for anyone to be banned. Is merely a component in what is often called a ‘debate'; something Mr Gervais wishes to engage in while running away and calling his critics names.]

For example, if you were going to attempt to reclaim the word ‘mong’ you would want to at least spend a few seconds thinking about the potential targets of a word that is still used in a hateful sense, and you would probably want to have a goal beyond wanting to use the word yourself to mock a dim-witted mate or even yourself as part of your PR for a telly show.

A few seconds thought about those human beings might make you more wary of some fans who might miss the point (see: ‘street’ kids who took to mimicking Ali G as part of their shtick without a lick of irony or awareness). It might also stop you from defending your stance with an accusation that critics are merely offended (see: the dictionary, where ‘harm’ and ‘hurt’ are some distance away from ‘offence’, and not just because of that alphabetical nonsense). It could also prevent you from insulting those you have injured by positioning yourself as the victim.

Speaking of victims, here’s a poor dear who Ricky Gervais kindly retweeted because she complained about the ‘pounding’ she got when her comment against one of Ricky’s critics was RTed by that critic…

Gervais RTs an ickle victim

… and here is an earlier conversation from her timeline that suggests a possible reason for some of the hostility she is facing:

Gosh. Imagine being such a mong or spag, and by that I mean 'foolish person', that you are unable to walk.

Now, perhaps these comments from one of Ricky’s fans aren’t malicious/ignorant and are instead so deeply steeped in irony that the post-modernism is impossible to detect, but isn’t there at least the teeniest tiniest risk that either way these comments might somehow reinforce or even encourage further thoughtless, careless, or even malicious use of a word that causes harm in a way the able-bodied and able-minded might have a little trouble comprehending?

Further, if your comprehension of this harm was lacking, would you think it your place to take this kind of risk on behalf of any vulnerable person or group… and wouldn’t a celebrity with nearly half a million followers on Twitter want to be at least a little bit cautious about ‘reclaiming’ a word in these circumstances? Is Ricky Gervais really that confident in the intelligence and literacy of his fans?

To close, for no reason other than balance (*cough*) here is a random selection of recent tweets from Ricky’s fans pointing out that he is a genius. This being the case, perhaps I just don’t understand what a tight grip he has on this situation:

Ricky Gervais is a genius!

UPDATE (7pm) – Francesca Martinez is comedian who has worked with Gervais. She also has cerebral palsy, which would provide her with vital insight into this issue even if she hadn’t been called a ‘mong’ in the pejorative sense recently (and she has). Martinez has tweeted in support of the vulnerable generally and fellow comedian Richard Herring specifically; Herring has been copping some horrendous abuse as a result of his early and well articulated stance.

Here is a sample of related tweets from Martinez, including three of her most recent:

Tweets by Francesca Martinez

And below, a response from a Gervais supporter this evening that rather supports my point. Observe how faithfully it follows the pattern of Gervais talking down the careers/achievements of his critics as if that’s relevant to the argument:

Did I mention that Ricky Gervais is a genius?

This is what you are encouraging, Gervais. This is how your fans are reacting to your poor conduct and your pisspoor defence of same. Take a bloody look in your wing mirrors once in a while and wake up to yourself.








Posted in Humanity | 17 Comments

Daily Mail and the Foxy Knock-Offski

Did anyone else notice anything funny about this picture of Adam Werritty’s business card, as featured in the Daily Mail? No? Just me then.

Adam Werrit's business card 01

Was anyone else so blinded by irrational hatred for tabloid newspapers that they recognised it as backwards text and assumed this to be the result of their scanning it from another newspaper? No? Didn’t think so.

Adam Werrit's business card 02

Was anyone else so jealous of the professional standard set by the Mail that they spent an entire 2.5 seconds reversing the image to confirm this, and then spent a further 6.8 seconds in Google so they might discover which newspaper the Daily Mail has been lifting material from without credit? No? Well, that’s to be expected.

Adam Werrit's business card 03

Oh, and it was The Guardian, by the way; the Daily Mail scanned an image for one of their articles from The Guardian, and didn’t bother crediting them. But I’m sure this is one of those perfectly innocent oversights, and the Daily Mail had permission to use the image, which is why they used the high resolution version one can only get from scanning a two-day-old copy of a rival newspaper.








Posted in Old Media | 13 Comments

Open letter to journalist Nick Pisa

Morning, folks. I have decided to email Nick Pisa about his conduct last night, when through the Daily Mail he reported how a series of people reacted to an event that never happened.

from Tim Ireland
to nickpisa[AT]yahoo.com
date Tue, Oct 4, 2011 at 8:56 AM
subject Your talent for invention

Dear Nick,

Do you have any response to the evidence that you and relevant Daily Mail staff were prepared to go to print with [an] entirely invented accounts of events, reactions and statements that you could not possibly have witnessed?
http://www.mailwatch.co.uk/2011/10/03/invented-eyewitness-accounts/

This is what I have prepared in advance;

“Oh, do calm down; EVERYBODY does it,” said a clearly emotional Pisa before calling his critics names and running away.

If you would prefer me to report something you actually said, rather than what I expected you to say, then please do get in touch.

Cheers

Tim Ireland
www.bloggerheads.com

I’ve already received a genuine response while preparing this post, and I look forward to publishing it shortly.

UPDATE – Nick Pisa is now suggesting that I contact the Daily Mail for a response (on the basis that they published what he imagined) but for the record, this is a summary of what he had to say for himself about the above. These are key extracts from a wider email conversation, but if Nick is worried about being quoted out of context, I would be delighted to publish the entire exchange if he so requests.

Nick Pisa: “If you knew anything about reporting and not blogging then you would know two versions are written for court stories on deadline. Also as you are so web obsessed then you will have seen several news organisations made the same mistake.”

Tim Ireland: “I did see others making a similar mistakes re: the verdict, but this is entirely distinct from inventing reactions and statements made in ‘response’ to something that hadn’t happened. Are you saying that you’ve done this before and you regard it to be acceptable?”

Nick Pisa: “No. Now you are twisting my words. It is a version that is fine tuned before being sent for publication or online… To be honest I think it’s best you get a response from the Mail. They posted it. I have told you what happened. I do not recall name calling in fact the jeering was from your side as I recall ! I did not run away. I did not see the point in discussing it and I am as angry as you are.”

I’m especially delighted that Nick took offence at my imagined version of his reaction before not calling me names and not running away. :o)

UPDATE (8pm) – The Daily Mail have expanded on their earlier statement (amounting to a blatantly false and entirely irrelevant claim about the ‘guilty’ story being up for only 90 seconds; something they persist with at their peril, as it undermines their denial) and have added the following to their site:

Confusion over the judge’s announcement meant Sky News and several news websites, including Mail Online, briefly reported incorrectly that Knox had been found guilty.

This was corrected just over a minute later when it became apparent that he had said she was guilty of slander before going on to say both Knox and Sollecito were innocent of Meredith’s murder.

We apologise for the error and have launched an enquiry to examine our procedures.

It is common practice among newspapers to prepare two versions of an article ahead of a court verdict and these are known as ‘set and hold’ pieces.

We would like to make it clear that Nick Pisa had no involvement in the decision to publish his set and hold piece on MailOnline.

The quotes were obtained from various parties in the event of either a guilty or not guilty verdict.

So the reactions to a guilty verdict that never came… were they obtained ahead of time, too? Perhaps Pisa based these sections of his piece on reactions to the slander verdict…

Amanda Knox looked stunned this evening after she dramatically lost her prison appeal against her murder conviction.

… but if this is the case, it makes no sense for these accounts of reactions to a verdict to be in a ‘set and hold’ piece, because the writer would at the time have been responding thinking he had a verdict.

UPDATE (06 Oct) – I urge you to read the unfolding comments, and when a clearer picture emerges I expect to update the body of this post with any crucial elements (i.e. instead of deleting it and pretending it never happened, as some tabloids are wont to do). At this time, it appears entirely possible that Nick Pisa at least acted in good faith, and with some rigour, though we may not see any relevant details until after the Daily Mail have conducted their internal investigation. Scare quotes from ‘journalist’ in my headline have subsequently been snipped to remove the likelihood of the man being judged by this alone.

(Many people only read headlines/link text. Many others will read a post only, and not the comments, which is why vital corrections belong in the body of a post if/when they emerge, and why headlines should be corrected in line with changes to content. IMO.)








Posted in Old Media | 62 Comments

Hey, I LOVE women. Sliced thinly, on toast.

For those who are new here and/or otherwise left wondering what the hell is going on…

This latest outburst from Nadine Dorries is a textbook attempt by this MP to spoil a major revelation/disclosure that she knows is coming.

I now have evidence that Nadine Dorries lied about a police investigation that never took place, then abused her position to instigate a police investigation to cover her tracks, and then lied about the nature, details and outcome of that investigation. Among the documents I have secured; a redacted version of the complete Bedfordshire Police report in response to her complaint, and the complaint itself. It’s damning stuff. Absolute dynamite in places. (At one point in her letter of complaint, Dorries makes a series of entirely false claims that she cannot possibly substantiate… in the name of the law firm Carter Ruck!)

It is also worth mentioning that her self-penned no-names accusation in a recent edition of the Daily Mail makes it completely clear that she is trying to use clever wording on her not-a-blog in order to give people the false impression that I was issued with a caution as a result of her complaint (while associating me with recent threats she claims to have received, which is nice):

“One particularly obsessive man recently followed me round with a camera, whipped up online hysteria against me and eventually had to accept a police caution for harassment.” – Nadine Dorries (source)

This is complete lie that Dorries repeatedly publishes and broadcasts knowing exactly how it sets off an active vigilante element; primarily, people who have their own reasons to intimidate me into silence, but are visibly agitated by Dorries’ outbursts.

This leads me to the main reason why I have not yet published the damning evidence that I have mentioned.

A man who I will not name was so caught up in Dorries’ late-May ‘caution’ lies that he made his own complaint to police in the days that followed, called on others to do the same, and then made a threat of violence against me and another man on his own site, under his own name, on the same day he had an appointment with police to discuss his (false) allegations.

Police have not acted on any previous complaint from this man, and they did not act on this latest complaint. But they did take the threat of violence seriously, which is what has led to the scheduled court appearance* that makes it very difficult for me to expose Dorries as a liar without risk of prejudicing an upcoming trial.

(The man involved pleaded ‘not guilty’ because he did not wish to accept… yep, a genuine caution.)

However, as a sign of good faith to the lovely readers and followers who continue to stand by me, I am today publishing the worst thing that police report says about me.

Some of the report impacts on others, so it may not be published by me in its complete (albeit redacted) form, so I just wanted to be clear with folks that I am not hiding anything. That, and I’m curious to see the mountain Dorries will build out of this molehill while I wait to drop a shedload of bedrock on her.

(The redactions in red are mine, and a courtesy to the officer concerned until I have at least attempted to put their comments into context.)

Aha! A master criminal exposed at long last!

I am currently in the process of researching the relevant officer’s account so I might better understand how they came to this conclusion, but if my memory serves me well, this negative impression most likely stems from my mentioning it was Dorries who was actually under investigation for expenses (which was true) when she claimed I was under investigation for stalking (which was not true). I am happy to discuss this in comments, but little else, for reasons I would hope are clear.

I will blog again as soon as I am able. In the meantime, you can find me on Twitter most weekdays. Do follow me, even if only to annoy the biggest liar Parliament.

*UPDATE (09 Nov) – I have been advised that the CPS have discontinued this case mere days ahead of the scheduled court date, so I’ll most likely be going live with the Dorries evidence within the next week.








Posted in Tories! Tories! Tories! | 7 Comments

Media Watch Meet-up

A small group of liberal elitists behind The Sun: Tabloid Lies, Mail Watch, Express Watch and other personal attacks on common sense and decency will be meeting for a London-centric Chardonnay-quaffing* session at The Monarch in Camden at 2:30pm on Saturday 6th August, 2011.

Members of the public are invited to attend, provided they are not operating under the constraints of an imaginary legal device.

Those attending may be exposed to furtive whispers about media standards as a spectacle, media-watching as a sport, and other aspects of the vast left wing conspiracy to impose accuracy and accountability on a self-regulated system that’s doing just fine without our incessant meddling.

[*There may be some drinking of popular colas and lager beer, purely for the sake of appearances, should a photo opportunity arise. PS – bring a camera.]

Media Watch Meet-up

2:30pm
Saturday
6th August 2011
The Monarch in Camden:

http://www.monarchbar.com/contact/

Bags will be searched for pie.








Posted in Old Media | 6 Comments

#NotW Hackgate EXCLUSIVE: Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie & Jennifer Aniston

Short version:

Holy cow! It looks like News of the World ‘hacked’ the phone(s) of Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, and/or Jennifer Aniston!

Long version:

1. As I have already noted, if we are to hope to hold News Corporation to account for the conduct of newspapers operating under subsidiary News International, then what we need are victims of phone ‘hacking’ who are US citizens (or even, at this stage, US citizens who are potential victims). Given the enormous monetary/legal resources Rupert Murdoch has and the political influence he retains despite this massive scandal, it is preferable that these victims have ample resources and access to legal Rottweilers. So, if you’ll pardon the arrogance of my onomatopoeia; Boom.

2. Speaking of legal Rottweilers, I have already written about the pattern of celebrity stories that claim to be based on leaks from ‘friends’, but appear instead to have been based on illicitly-accessed phone messages, but I think News of the World would have been far more wary of basing a scoop solely/obviously on Brangelina’s phone messages than they would have been with your average citizen (and with good reason; the couple sued the newspaper over a later article in 2010). I suspect News of the World staff/editors retained most of what they discovered through this route and did not publish the usual level of detail until after the Pitt/Aniston break-up was public knowledge and there were enough actual blabbers around (i.e. in the bitter dispute that followed) to provide adequate cover. I expect I’ll know more once I get my hands on that October 2004 item mentioned in this article.

3. Look at the detail. The source News of the World rely on here appears to know a lot about the tone of voice people used in these intimate phone conversations. This does not look good for News of the World. This does not look good at all.

Detail: News of the World, 9 January 2005

4. Like the Danielle Jones article, this item is not only prominent (Page 9), it makes specific reference to phones. We are expected to believe that then-editor Andy Coulson somehow missed this or looked at this item (knowing the pronounced risks of litigation) and did not make any enquiries about the source.

5. Hell, if you’re the speculating type, try to imagine Glenn Mulcaire listening in to this break-up of a leading celebrity couple, and then try to guess who he might speak to about this dynamite story. Personally, if I were a greedy tabloid scumbag, I’d be talking directly to the editor if not passing on messages about how many extra zeroes this one would cost.

6. Later today, I’ll get in touch with Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie’s London lawyers, Schillings. I’m ‘known’ to these lawyers, you know… for something completely different!!! (Sorry. Private joke. Moving on.)

7. I do hate to go on and on like a poorly-compressed MP3, but this revelation is the result of wholly independent research, and if you’d like to make sure that I have the time/funds/capacity to do more, then please donate today:







Cheers all. If there’s enough money in the kitty by early this afternoon, I can start making immediate plans for another jaunt into the British Newspaper Library early next week.








Posted in Old Media, Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch | 10 Comments

News of the World: a wake-up call for certain Conservatives

Some people in politics can be really funny about evidence… Westminster/media groupies especially so. It is not unknown for some ‘commentators’ to be so far into the role of propagandist that they will accuse personal/political enemies of criminality on nothing more than hearsay while refusing to even acknowledge solid evidence against those they support personally/politically.

(I’m sure I don’t need to name names, but I will say that, no, some apologies will never satisfy… but only while they remain half-hearted and self-serving because you’ve still got your head up your arse, you great big lumbering dipshit.)

That said, I would like to make it clear that the following is only an indicator of guilt, but it is a strong one that follows an emerging pattern; News of the World stories that claim/imply that ‘friends’ or ‘pals’ are the source of a story, when in fact the source of the story is intercepted/illicitly-accessed messages from mobile phones.

The item about Prince William that led to the conviction of Clive Goodman and Glenn Mulcaire was just such a story, and the mistake Goodman made was to print something that could only have come from illicit interception of phone messages.

Many other such stories had earlier escaped attention because of a lingering doubt about ‘friends’ and the widely-recognised need to protect sources. On this point, I refer to the words of Gordon Brown:

“… News International who took the freedom of the press as a licence for abuse, who cynically manipulated our support of that vital freedom as their justification, and who then callously used the defence of a free press as the banner under which they marched in step, as I say, with members of the criminal underworld.” – Gordon Brown, 12 July 2011

Basically, if the newspaper claimed or implied that the source was a friend/pal and there was potentially more than one source, all the newspaper had to do was refuse to name the source, and the target was left with nowhere to go. In other words; a blatant abuse of freedom of the press to disguise criminal activity conducted by newspaper staff.

The repeated success of this defensive rampart appears to have led to a situation in the News of the World newsroom especially where confidence was so high that ‘journalists’ would make overt reference to phone calls and text messages in articles resulting from illicitly-sourced leads. This article about Danielle Jones is a stark example, and this Liz Hurley item is typical of the celebrity articles I’ve seen that appear to follow this pattern.

(Psst! A WHOPPER of a celebrity example will follow later today. Think big. No, bigger. OK, now multiply that by three.)

So, with all of that in mind, I hope that this is the moment that some especially pigheaded Tories finally start to come around on this to the point of admitting that they didn’t just get it a little bit wrong because they weren’t aware of recent evidence, but that they got it very, very wrong because they wilfully turned a blind eye to available evidence and didn’t bother looking for further evidence:

News of the World James Major exclusive, 27 November 2005

That challenge may seem odd to the casual reader, but there are some people in this world who are so tribal that even when innocent victims are involved, they won’t come fully on board until one of their own is involved.

I mean, FFS, all of this stuff is just sitting in there in the British Newspaper Library, just waiting to be found, and even now there’s only me and maybe two or three newspapers showing an interest in the material. Where are all these Conservative bloggers who brag about leading the way every chance they get? Instead of asking where the evidence is, perhaps now some of these Tories might finally be convinced to start looking at it… or start looking for it.

[Note – As with other items recently published on Bloggerheads, this article does not appear in the database of NotW articles recently released by the Telegraph. This is the first time this article has seen the light of day since it was originally published by News of the World in November 2005. This story results from original research I conducted into the friendship between Andy Coulson and Andy Hayman and associated ‘hacking’ issues, and if you would like to fund more independent research into this story and others like it, please open your virtual wallet and click here.]








Posted in Old Media, Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch, The Political Weblog Movement, Tories! Tories! Tories! | 2 Comments

EXCLUSIVE: News of the World and the ‘hacking’ of Danielle Jones

Yesterday, the Telegraph published a database of News of the World articles relating to phone/text messages, including the Dowler article I blogged about yesterday morning. Like me, they’ve been doing some research at the British Newspaper Library in Colindale, and I applaud their efforts, but their collection is short one vital article, which enters the public domain this morning for the first time since it was originally published by News of the World on July 15, 2001.

Before you read this article (in the scan/graphic below), I ask that you consider the following:

1. Rebekah Wade/Brooks and Andy Coulson have repeatedly sought to shelter themselves behind a denial that they were not aware of what was going on in their own newsroom. As so many of the smoking guns have been relatively minor/diary pieces in the back pages, this tactic has been largely successful, if a little pyrrhic (i.e. leaving Wade/Brooks and Coulson in a position where they are merely incompetent as far as anybody knows, and not corrupt).

2. Scotland Yard confirm that Danielle Jones’ name and/or other details are included in relevant evidence held by police. This is just one published source:

The investigation into the death of Essex teenager Danielle Jones could be re-examined after the inquiry into the voicemail hacking scandal found that mobile phones linked to her may have been targeted by a private investigator working for the News of the World…. (Chris Bryant) told the Commons yesterday that evidence suggesting Danielle’s phone and others linked to her were targeted by Mulcaire had been discovered by Operation Weeting, the inquiry into phone hacking. Police sources confirmed details of the phones had been found and said the information was being assessed for potential impact on the original murder investigation. – Independent, 7 July 2011

Which leads us neatly to…

3. The prosecution of the killer of Danielle Jones relied a great deal on evidence involving falsified text messages sent from Danielle’s phone by the murderer (context). If staff from News of the World are found to have compromised or undermined this evidence in any way, it could conceivably lead to a challenge against the relevant conviction.

Now, take a look at the scan of the original article (below), which (a) dominated Page 11 of the newspaper, (b) is clearly based on text messages sent to Danielle Jones’ phone, (c) makes that same point ab-so-lute-ly clear in a headline that you would have to blind – or on holiday – to miss, and (d) appears to actually express disappointment that police would not allow the release of further/outgoing messages!

It is also hard to see what ‘public interest’ defence exists for the publication of these texts. It appears to me to be an entirely emotional element that served no other purpose beyond sensationalising an already traumatic event.

We are expected to believe that editors were not aware of any of this, before or after publication. This is a claim I reject, especially now that I have seen this evidence. It is also highly unlikely that Essex Police failed to raise the issue of the sensitivity of text messages with editors, because their concerns about the importance of text messages as evidence are right there in the article approved for publication.

Rebekah Wade/Brooks and/or Andy Coulson cannot have been unaware of this published article, or its origins, or of the dangerous implications. If they were given no specific warning about the use and potential consequences of ‘hacking’ by Essex Police, then serious questions need to be asked about their competence.

[Click here if you would like to fund more independent research into this story and associated tabloid shenanigans.]

Danielle Jones article in News of the World, 16 July 2002








Posted in Old Media, Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch, Tories! Tories! Tories! | 6 Comments

#NotW: ‘hacking’ Liz Hurley

Word reaches me of potentially “serious consequences” for Rupert Murdoch and his empire should anyone turn up evidence of ‘hacking’ aimed at American citizens.

Will Steve Bing do?

See the closing paragraphs on this story, and see if you can guess at the likely source:

News of the World Liz Hurley exclusive - April 7 2002

Actually, I suspect almost this entire story is based on intercepted phone/text messages. What kind of friend would blab to a tabloid about a hospital visit and reward a stalker with this kind of attention?

Not this one, that’s for sure:

Hugh Grant: How I exposed hacking








Posted in Old Media, Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch, Tories! Tories! Tories! | 2 Comments